As a 40-something divorcee, conversations about sex / libido / hormones are pretty much a daily occurrence. I’ve had girlfriends tell me of times when their need / drive / desire was so powerful and urgent that they’ve pulled over to the side of the road while driving to manually relieve themselves. One girlfriend reports that her friends sometime act as scouts, even once sending a 21-year old man to her home, sight unseen, for a house call. (I wonder how that conversation goes?)
While I can’t claim to have pulled off to the side of the road for a quick masturbatory session or that any friends have delivered fresh meat to my front door, I can relate to the feelings of frequent powerful and urgent lust (even if they somehow seemed to disappear during most of the dates I went on over the summer). In fact, the ultimate fantasy du jour is to be passionately making out in the elevator with my prospective lover and, upon reaching the destination floor — whether a hotel room or flat — barely make it into the room before he slams me against the wall, tears off my panties (if I’m wearing any) and impales me.
In other words, “wham, bam, thank you ma’am” sounds not just okay, but ideal to me right now. After that, I’m open to whatever gentle touch or tenderness that might happen. Getting it done is the primary objective.
Some of my friends, many of them married, like to live vicariously through my dating stores. But recently I reconnected with a friend who made me realize that the raging 40-something libido is not an universal experience, even among singles. At only a few years younger than me, this girlfriend has gone through some lady hormonal stuff that’s essentially made her body chemistry the equivalent of a post-menopausal woman. She does not experience or share this raging, animalistic desire I have to rip off a man’s clothes and climb his tree.
In fact, her reality is quite different from that vision: She’s never been what I would consider particularly conventional, but now she realizes the fall-in-love-get-married-make-babies path will never unfold for her. Looking for love has been an exercise in ambivalence these past few years. She thought she’d moved back to the midwest to realize all those things — settle down, make a home and a life, have children. Meanwhile, her heart wasn’t fully in it because of feelings for a man already in her life, albeit across the globe.
So this recent diagnosis (learning that she won’t be able to get pregnant without medical intervention) has changed her entire outlook. She hasn’t experienced the sort of hormonal demands or libidinous passions that I attempt to moderate (modulate? manage?) on a daily basis, but enjoys a healthy physical dimension to her relationship. Knowing that the traditional fairytale narrative of a relationship / marriage / family is not part of her reality has freed her to more fully embrace her relationship with a man who has not only celebrated his 70th birthday, but also lives on another continent. A few weeks ago, they celebrated their five-year anniversary.
My girlfriend acknowledges how unconventional all this is and, in fact, she’s not even “out” in her workplace about this relationship for fear of how differently she might be perceived. Yet their families have fully embraced them, and I support her happiness in whatever form it comes.
But where we are biologically or along our life paths? It’s as if we occupy entirely different worlds!